Do your research. Draw from a number of trusted sources such as friends, family, and referrals from other attorneys when formulating a list of possible employment lawyers. Word of mouth and personal recommendations are powerful and influential sources of information. Consult different types of databases, such as Lawyers.com or Attorneys.com to gather information about a number of employment lawyers in your area. The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is an organization with more than 3,000 members across the United States. In addition, most state bar associations also offer free referrals.
Interview your potential employment attorneys. Once you create a list of possible attorneys, meet with all of them before making a decision. Inquire about their certifications, membership in NELA, and their familiarity with the most current changes in employment law. Ask to see their credentials.
Make sure your attorney has experience handling cases similar to yours. Employment law is a substantial field involving a number of different legal areas. Whether your case has to do with labor disputes such as overtime pay, discrimination or harassment situations, possible wrongful job termination, whistleblower protection, or dispute resolution and mediation, most employment lawyers tend to focus in one area or another. Ask your potential attorneys about their experience and success with your particular type of case.
Familiarize yourself with your rights. All employees have rights based on federal and state laws, such as the right to privacy of possessions and mail, the right to be free of discrimination and harassment, the right to work in a safe environment, and the right to fair compensation. Make sure you and your employment lawyer are on the same page about advocating for these rights at all times.
Be honest with your attorney. Make sure you are truthful with your attorney about the details of your employment claim, as well as your expectations and wishes for the outcome of your case. This will help your attorney to know how to best represent you.
Do what your attorney asks. Your attorney may ask you to collect certain documents or other information regarding your claim, or to fulfill other actions. Doing your best to comply with his or her requests will help support your case.
Make sure you understand your payment arrangement. Most employment attorneys offer free consultations, during which you should also inquire about their payment requirements. Whether their fees are contingency-based or hourly usually depends on the nature of the services you require. Compare pricing from all lawyers you meet with to get an idea of what is reasonable for your needs.